There is simply no country in this globe now that uses leaded petrol for lorries and cars, as per the announcement of the UN Environment Programme. This toxic fuel contaminates air, soil, and water.
This fuel emission can cause heart disease, cancer, and even stroke. Also, it can lead to brain problems in Children. Most of the countries have already banned leaded petrol fuel during the time of 1980s. But Algeria was the only country which was using leaded petrol. However, it is running out of this fuel.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called this eradication of this fuel an “international success story”.
He added, “Ending the use of leaded petrol will prevent more than one million premature deaths each year from heart disease, strokes, and cancer, and it will protect children whose IQs are damaged by exposure to lead.”
The fuel industry started adding lead to petrol in the early 1920s to improve the performance of engines. It raised the alarm in 1924 when five workers died, and dozens of others felt sick after suffering from convulsions at a refinery.
But lead petrol continued to work as a highly used fuel until the 1970s. Weather countries then started phasing out the use of it. But in 2000 there were 86 countries which were still using leaded petrol.
Countries like Afghanistan, North Korea, Myanmar stopped the selling of leaded petrol during 2016. Countries like Yemen, Algeria, and Iraq still continued to provide the toxic fuel.
The environmental body of the UN, Unep, worked with private companies, governments, and civic groups to end the use of this fuel.
The Unep executive director Inger Anderson thinks it is a kind of mistake to use leaded fuel. She added that the eradication of such fuel shows that humanity can still learn from it and fix its mistakes. It is more of an end of a toxic era.
“It clearly shows that if we can phase out one of the most dangerous polluting fuels in the 20th century, we can absolutely phase out all fossil fuels,” Thandile Chinyavanhu, climate campaigner at Greenpeace Africa, said.